This is one of the (many) reasons we have trust issues when it comes to shopping online.

Whenever I hear about a scam, I always wonder what the people behind them could do if they took the ingenuity they used to create these fake opportunities to steal people's money and used it for something more positive that would benefit society as a whole. I imagine some of them could come up with ways to fix a few problems that hadn't been thought of before. But, they don't. Instead, they create elaborate schemes to try and dupe people out of their hard-earned money. Not that all of them are great ideas, but some are pretty clever. I'll leave it to you to decide which category this recent one shared by the Henderson Police Department falls under.

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Henderson, Kentucky Police Warn Residents of a New Online Real Estate Scam


In a recent post on its Facebook page, the Henderson Police Department shared that it had received a few phone calls about unknown individuals posing as property owners and landlords selling or renting various properties. The problem is, the properties they're trying to sell aren't up for sale.

If someone contacts them and expresses interest in purchasing or renting the unavailable property, the scammers ask for a deposit using Venmo, PayPal, or some other legitimate online payment transfer option. Obviously, the problem with that is, the scammers get your money and you don't get anything back in return, and by the time you figure that out, they're long gone and so is your money.

In an effort to protect you from something like this happening to you, the HPD says to look for the following red flags when looking at real estate online:

  • You are asked for money upfront.
  • The listing has typographical errors.
  • There is no credit check involved.
  • You are pressured to buy/rent right away.
  • The rental pictures look too good to be true.

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Long story short, and like with most scams, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you happen to see a home for sale you are interested in, check local real estate websites, or sites like Zillow or, to see if the home is actually for sale or rent. If you don't find it, chances are it's not available.

[Source: Henderson Police Department on Facebook]

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